Cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, corn, rolls, rice, pumpkin-pie makings and, of course, turkey.
These ingredients are the makings of a good Thanksgiving dinner – a dinner that many Renton families may not have been able to afford if not for Renton Salvation Army.
The nonprofit distributed these ingredients to about 530 families at the Salvation Army Renton Rotary Food Bank and Service Center Tuesday. That’s almost double the crowd served the Tuesday before last year’s Thanksgiving.
“A lot of families are hurting right now, and for us to spare them the money to buy Thanksgiving food is a good thing,” said Terry Masango, captain of the Renton Corps of the Salvation Army.
The families signed up in early November for 15-minute slots. About 40 families went through the food lines every 30 minutes. The lines were open Tuesday from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
Volunteers from Renton Salvation Army and United Way handed out the cans and boxes of food. Families of four received about 18 pounds of food, and families of five and more about 28 pounds.
Renton Salvation Army bought much of the Thanksgiving goods. Some food was also donated, including 24 turkeys from Sam’s Club, 20 from Bob Bridge Toyota and 14 from Thriftway.
Masango stood at the door of the food bank Tuesday, wishing visitors a Happy Thanksgiving.
“Thank you, I appreciate you guys,” a young woman said to Masango. She left clutching three grocery bags of Thanksgiving fixings.
“Those are the comments I like hearing,” Masango said.
He has heard a lot more of those comments this year with the increase of food bank visitors. This October, 11,730 people received food from the Salvation Army Renton Rotary Food Bank. Last October the number of people was half that. Any Renton-area family can receive food from the food bank, regardless of income.
Donations have also decreased since last year. But Masango said enough food is coming in to allow the food bank to at least keep its “head above water until Christmas.”
Renton Salvation Army is giving out toys and ingredients for Christmas dinners Dec. 18 and 19 at Evergreen City Ballet. Donations of toys and ham, chicken and other holiday foods are now being accepted. Registration for Christmas toys and food will be the first week of December. The Salvation Army Renton Rotary Food Bank and Service Center is at 206 S. Tobin St. For more information, call the food bank and service center at 425-255-5974.